This story is a few days old, but still relevent to the various GOP talking points. This article shows the contradiction in their treatment of BP versus their treatment of ACORN.
Once again, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show demonstrate the best news writing in the business. Hands down. Period. No contest.
Last night, Maddow opened with a shameful side-by-side comparison of the aggressive action taken by Republicans last year to defund ACORN on the basis of secret video tapes which proved to be complete hoaxes, versus their nearly complete silence in regard to the deadly crimes and disasters of BP.
While ACORN received approximately $3.5 million in federal funding over each of the last 15 years, and Republicans were outraged about it, BP receives literally BILLIONS in federal funds each year for what it does, and it has actually killed people in the bargain
Maddow’s report is both stunning and obvious at the same time — at least to anyone remotely involved in the world of actual fact and reality, which is to say, almost nobody else in the entirety of the corporate media (and, thus, the public.)
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Since the Gulf Coast oil spill, former Vice President Cheney has been conspicuously silent. His refusal to speak out comes despite the fact that BP has hired his former press secretary to be the company spokesperson; his former company, Halliburton, is partially responsible for the rig explosion; and the disaster is being dubbed “Cheney’s Katrina” by many critics.
Yesterday, he gave his first speech since the April 20 disaster, addressing a largely friendly sold-out crowd of more than 1,200 people at the Manufacturer and Business Association convention in Erie, PA. While there’s no video of the full event because media were forced to leave five minutes into the one-hour speech, the NBC affiliate in Erie reports that at one point, Cheney did finally address the oil spill — by criticizing President Obama’s response to the disaster:
Cheney told the audience he is currently writing his memoirs. He also touched on President Obama’s performance in office.
He pointed to the President’s lack of action in the Gulf oil leak. He said Obama doesn’t have enough executive experience, or experience in Washington, to make things happen.
If “executive experience” and “experience in Washington” helped the Bush administration in its disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina, then Obama is probably better off without it.
“The association declined to say how much Cheney charged for his speech, but members and guests paid either $185 per seat, or sat at tables costing $1,000 to $1,500 each to hear the former vice president,” the Erie Times-News reported. There was also a small protest organized by the Erie Peace and Justice Center outside of the venue.
Oh man, what can one say about Rush Limbaugh? he claims he’s an “entertainer”. Yet he has every GOP candidate bowing down and kissing his ring.
Whomever or whatever he is, in my opinion, he’s a foul piece of waste that plays to the fear of like-minded foul pieces of waste.
I only report this crap to show my humane readers how inhumane the “other-side” is. This turns my stomach.
Limbaugh suggested that “kids losing weight because they’re starving to death” is a benefit of school being out for the summer. On the June 16 edition of his radio show, referencing a report that children “face a summer of hunger” because “[w]hile classes were in session, they relied on free or discount cafeteria meals … [b]ut they will not be reached by the patchwork summer food programs financed by” the federal government, Limbaugh stated that “a summer off from government eating might be just the ticket” to curbing childhood obesity. He later characterized children “starving to death out there because there’s no school meal being provided” as “one of the benefits of school being out.”
Limbaugh to children: Can’t find food? “There’s always the neighborhood dumpster.” Also on his June 16 show, Limbaugh challenged Summer Food Service programs by criticizing children for not knowing how to find food. Limbaugh first suggested that children should “try your house,” and “if that doesn’t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.” He concluded, “There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster.” From the show:
LIMBAUGH: I think, you know what we’re going to do here, we’re going to start a feature on this program: “Where to find food.” For young demographics, where to find food. Now that school is out, where to find food. We can have a daily feature on this. And this will take us all the way through the summer. Where to find food. And, of course, the first will be: “Try your house.” It’s a thing called the refrigerator. You probably already know about it. Try looking there. There are also things in what’s called the kitchen of your house called cupboards. And in those cupboards, most likely you’re going to find Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, Lays ridgy potato chips, all kinds of dip and maybe a can of corn that you don’t want, but it will be there. If that doesn’t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. You know where McDonald’s is. There’s the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s and if they don’t have Chicken McNuggets, dial 911 and ask for Obama.
There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster. Now, you might find competition with homeless people there, but there are videos that have been produced to show you how to healthfully dine and how to dumpster dive and survive until school kicks back up in August. Can you imagine the benefit we would provide people?
Limbaugh posted a transcript of the segment on his website, and launched a “Where to Find Food Program.” The day after Limbaugh suggested “dumpster div[ing]” for food, his website featured what Limbaugh called “EIB’s Where to Find Food Program.” Limbaugh is shown in a graphic pointing to a refrigerator next to a grocery bag with the words “WHERE TO FIND FOOD” written on it. The front page of the website teases the story by stating: “It’s the ‘Summer of Hunger’? El Rushbo wants to help.” From the website:
Limbaugh frequently derides the plight of the poor as well as programs to aid them
Limbaugh: “Would somebody tell me the last time you saw a kid sleeping under a bridge?” Responding to reports that one in 50 American children experiences homelessness, Limbaugh called the statistic “bogus.” He questioned the validity of the statistic by asking his listeners: “Would somebody tell me the last time you saw a kid sleeping under a bridge?” From the March 25, 2009, edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
RUSH: This question — you know he didn’t have any questions last night from the dean of the drive-bys. No Wall Street Journal. No New York Times. No Washington Post. No — um — some other big newspapers did not get questions. Los Angeles Times. Instead, some guy from Ebony magazine, which is a pop culture magazine. That’s like having somebody from People magazine in there. And this guy asked the strangest question. This bogus statistic that one out of 50 American children are homeless. What do you — what are you gonna do — I want to see the facts on that. Just like how we had the “2-3 million people homeless” during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Mitch Snyder and his bogus homeless numbers. I mean that was obviously huge, a bogus discussion about homeless children, just after Obama got animated about cutting charitable deductions. He got happy. So he’s happy, he can’t wait to cut the charitable deduction, and he gets a question about one in 50 kids being homeless? If that were true why would somebody want to cut charitable donations? I think a caring person would want to triple the deduction in order to reduce the bogus number of one in 50 children who are homeless and living under bridges. Would somebody tell me the last time you saw a kid sleeping under a bridge? I wanna hear from somebody who’s seen it. Because that’s the way the question was framed out there.
I wonder if the GOP actually know how foolish they look and sound with their effort to smear the POTUS at every turn?
Last night, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest caucus of Republican House members, fired off a statement declaring that the $20 billion dollar negotiated by BP and the Obama administration for victims of the oil catastrophe in the gulf is a “Chicago-Style Political Shakedown.” Echoing this sentiment, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told BP executives that he is “sorry” for Obama’s “shakedown” of their company.
This morning, ThinkProgress traveled to Capitol Hill to interview lawmakers about the escrow fund. Several members of Congress, like Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), agreed with the RSC’s criticism of the fund. Even though Fleming’s home state of Louisiana has been devastated by BP’s spill, Fleming attacked the administration for not trusting BP and for daring to “take control of all the money from BP.” Asked about Barton’s apology to BP, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said any lawmaker has a right to “do what they want”:
TP: He announced the $20 billion dollar escrow fund, funded by BP, to compensate some of the victims of this catastrophe. The Republican Study Committee put out a press release last night saying it’s a Chicago style power grab, do you agree with that sentiment?
FLEMING: I do because what we have seen from this administration is whenever something like this happens — look at automotive industry, financial industry — what they do is take control of dollars then they begin to disperse them along political agendas. And we’ve seen this happen before, and it looks like its the development here. BP has said, time and time again, that they will process all legitimate claims, we have no reason to believe they won’t. Why does the administration feel like it’s got to take control of all the money from BP?
TP: So Congressman, the Republican Study Committee last night said that the $20 billion dollar escrow fund is just another Chicago style politics kind of power grab. Do you agree with that, do you think that’s a fair characterization?
JORDAN: I’m, look, I’m always worried about this unprecedented involvement by the government in the private sector and look, BP obviously made some mistakes, but do we really believe the Federal government is going to do a better job?
TP: What do you think about Joe Barton in the hearing this morning, he said ‘I apologize’ to the BP executives for the escrow fund, saying again it’s a shakedown […] Do you have any kind of reaction to a member of Congress apologizing to BP executives?
NUNES: Look, every member of Congress represents seven, eight hundred thousand people and they can do what they want.
The apology from Barton does not appear to be a “gaffe” — rather, it seems like a genuine belief held by conservatives and much of the Republican Party that no matter the crime committed by BP or another major corporation, any effort to conduct oversight for the victims is somehow a government “shakedown.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) made a similar argument as Fleming, explaining that the escrow fund for BP’s victims is just another Obama effort to “redistribute the wealth.” As Steve Benen notes, Dick Armey, Rand Paul (R-KY), Sharron Angle (R-NV), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) and the Heritage Foundation have all attacked Obama for daring to interfere with “private businesses” even during one of the greatest environmental and economic disasters in modern America.
This knee-jerk defense of big business isn’t confined to BP or the oil spill disaster. During the health reform debate, conservative lawmakers, like Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), quickly came to the defense of health insurance companies fighting against reform.
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the alleged winners of the 2010 mid-term elections:
BP’s embattled chief executive, Tony Hayward, waited to tell Congress on Thursday that he was “deeply sorry” for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, seeking to demonstrate that he and the oil giant understood the enormity of the spill’s environmental, economic and human toll.
Mr. Hayward has faced withering criticism for his response to the spill, and from the opening remarks delivered by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, that indignation was already clear. Not all of it, however, was directed at him.
Representative Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, whose investigations and oversight subcommittee is holding the hearing, said the committee searched 30,000 BP documents in vain looking for evidence of attention to the risks of the Macondo well.
“There is not a single e-mail or document that shows you paid even the slightest attention to the dangers at the well,” Mr. Waxman said.
“BP’s corporate complacency is astonishing,” he added. “BP cut corner after corner to save a million dollars here and a few hours or days there. And now the whole Gulf Coast is paying the price.”
Representative Joe Barton of Texas, the senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce committee, apologized to Mr. Hayward for what he called the politicization of the crisis. Continue reading…
After viewing her site and reading her background, Tarryl Clark may actually have a good chance of beating Bachmann in the mid-terms, especially in light of Bachmann’s rant against BP setting aside the $20 Billion dollars to help those disenfranchised by the BP oil spill. Bachman is actually on the side of Big Oil and against compensation for those who have been adversely affected by the spill.
Meet the woman who insists she can take down Michele Bachmann.
Dem State Senator Tarryl Clark says she’s planning a campaign against Bachmann that will turn her national notoriety against her: Bachmann has spent so much time making extreme statements and cultivating her national profile with speeches at Tea Party and GOP rallies that she’s lost touch with her constituents.
“Michele seems to be more focused on creating headlines and controversy than on doing things for the people of this district,” Clark told me in an interview just now. “She has been out there making outrageous claims that don’t bear up under scrutiny. She’s been off promoting herself.”
Is Bachmann vulnerable? Republicans scoff at the idea. They point out that Clark is way too liberal for Bachmann’s Catholic, socially conservative, heavily Republican district and that Bachmann defeated a more moderate challenger two years ago — in a landslide Dem year. Bachmann’s national Tea Party celebrity means she’ll raise huge sums for the race. Continue reading…